The White House, President George W. Bush Click to print this document

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
May 5, 2008

Interview of the President and the First Lady by Robin Roberts, ABC's Good Morning America
South Lawn

7:13 A.M. EDT

Q And we have two very special guests that are with us here -- tour guides, if you will. We're in their backyard -- President Bush and Mrs. Bush. Thank you so much for allowing us to be here.

MRS. BUSH: Thanks so much, Robin.

Q You know, America considers this their front lawn; this is your backyard. You see it all the time. Does it still amaze you, sir?

THE PRESIDENT: It does. It's a beautiful place. In the spring, the flowers are fantastic. In the fall, the -- it's just such a -- kind of a place that's so fresh. In the winter, of course, it's got a lot of snow. (Laughter.) Summer is real hot, but it's -- we love it out here. It's beautiful.

Q You have everything. And, Mrs. Bush, you have been at the forefront of helping with our national parks and the monuments --

MRS. BUSH: That's right, and people may not really realize that the whole National Mall is a national park, including the White House grounds where we're sitting right now. So all those magnificent monuments -- the Lincoln, the Washington, the Jefferson, the Roosevelt, the World War II Memorial -- are all part of our national park system.

Q And you really are working to keep it up.

MRS. BUSH: That's right. We have -- the President has a Centennial Challenge that he's urging, and I'm urging, the Congress to pass. This is -- the National Park Service will be 100 years old in 2016. And so we want to be able to pass the Centennial Challenge so there will be more money for the national parks, matched by private donations, because very -- a lot of our national parks became national parks because of private philanthropy and private citizens.

Q With the summer coming up, there are a lot of families that would like to get out and come out --

MRS. BUSH: That's right.

Q -- to the parks, and come out here to Washington, but I don't have to tell you about the gas prices.


MRS. BUSH: That's right.

Q It's very difficult for folks. And both Senator Clinton and Senator McCain have proposed this kind of like tax gas holiday, to suspend the tax for the summer. Do you agree with that?

THE PRESIDENT: I told them we'd look at it. But, you know, this is a problem that's been a while in making and it's going to be a while that we solve it. I understand the pinch, and it's -- $3.50, some places higher -- it's awfully difficult on working families. And I can understand why people are going to say, wait a minute, we want to make sure we don't over-extend our budgets by traveling too much.

One of the reasons -- one way to help solve it, of course, is by sending some of their money back. And that's what's happening now as we speak. There's a rebate going back to the American people which should help. I wish Congress would send a signal that they're going to make the people's taxes -- tax cuts permanent, so that they -- you know, there's consistency. But it's been a while in the making and it's going to be a while that we solve the problem. We're too dependent on foreign oil and we need to be exploring more at home.

Q Is there anything in the short term? I mean, folks hear that and they say they realize that, but when they have to spend so much for eggs, just the basics, the staples.

THE PRESIDENT: No, I understand. And there's a -- it troubles me a lot. As I told people, rising gasoline prices is like a tax on the working people. And we'll analyze some of these suggestions, but the key is that we think long term for America, that we diversify away from oil, and that we're wise and build new refineries and increase supply for the American consumers.

Q Well, this time next year there will be somebody else that will be occupying this beautiful house right here. And it was in November you talked to my colleague, Charlie Gibson, and you felt that Hillary Clinton would be the Democratic nominee.


Q Do you still feel that way?

THE PRESIDENT: Then I reminded everybody I predicted the Detroit Tigers to win the American League pennant last year, too. (Laughter.) So I'm not a very good political forecaster. We'll let the Democrats decide. I predict John McCain will be living up there.

Q Now, how did we know that you were going to say that? (Laughter.)

THE PRESIDENT: Because you gave me a loaded question, you know. (Laughter.)

Q Another loaded question -- this is not loaded at all. Of course, this weekend the big wedding.

MRS. BUSH: That's right.

Q Jenna did not want to get married here at the White House, wants to get married at the ranch in Crawford. So what have you done to make it special there? I know that it's always special at the ranch, but for this wedding?

THE PRESIDENT: Well, one thing we did -- I'll let Laura -- she's been in charge, but my one contribution is to -- we put a giant cross made out of Texas limestone that will serve as the altar, but also serve as a landmark on our place for years to come.

Q That's beautiful. So it's right there -- that's where the altar --

THE PRESIDENT: That's where she's going to get married, right in front of this Texas limestone altar with a cross on it -- by our lake.

Q Do you all have any jitters? I mean, this is your baby girl, the first one that's going to be --

MRS. BUSH: No, I'm so excited and thrilled for Jenna and Henry. They're very, very excited. And I think it will be beautiful. We, of course, are hoping for good weather. I was watching the weather very carefully before we started here. But I think it will be beautiful. I know the wildflowers are blooming and it's very green. We've gotten some good spring rains, and so I think it will be really, really beautiful. It's going to be a wonderful celebration with her closest friends and family and --

Q That's going to be beautiful.

MRS. BUSH: -- so we're so happy for them.

Q Well, that is going to be a wonder, much like we have this morning. (Laughter.) And I want to know, what is your wonder? We've been asking people here in the States, what takes your breath away?

THE PRESIDENT: Well, the Mall takes your breath away, for starters. I mean, I can see why you picked it as one of the Wonders. I love the Lincoln -- Lincoln Memorial. Lincoln I -- is my favorite President -- of course, other than my dad. And he -- I think that the fantastic statue of Lincoln does him such great justice. He's a majestic man who, in the midst of a hard presidency, never lost sight of some certain moral truths, starting with all men are created equal under God.

Q Well, President Bush, Mrs. Bush, thank you very much --

MRS. BUSH: Thanks so much, Robin.

Q -- for allowing us to be in your backyard and reveal the first Wonder here --

MRS. BUSH: Thanks. Well, we're thrilled that it's the National Mall. It's so beautiful.

Q I'm sure that you are. Have a great day. I know Uno, the beagle --

MRS. BUSH: Uno is coming. (Laughter.)

Q -- is coming. Big day here at the White House.

MRS. BUSH: Exactly. It's going to be fun.

Q We'll be right back and have much more from Washington, D.C., the National Mall, the first Wonder of America. We'll be back.

END 7:19 A.M. EDT

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